Taliban Threatens Jihad Against US

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Martin, do we need a new category? War.

News 24

(article won't copy)

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), September 16, 2001


Taliban threatens jihad against US

A senior minister said jihad was inevitable if the US attacked Afghanistan in a bid to snuff out the networks of indicted terrorist Osama bin Laden.

In a statement printed in the Taliban-controlled Shariat daily newspaper, Omar said the ulema, or senior scholars, would be called on to issue a fatwa possibly demanding holy war in the event of a US attack.

"The outstanding ulamas of Afghanistan should come to Kabul to take a Sharia decision about a possible US attack on the sacred and Islamic land of Afghanistan," Omar was quoted as saying in a statement.

"The proud nation of Afghanistan will then defend the Islamic country in the light of their Sharia fatwa."

Jihad will be automatic if US attacks in retaliation

Some 700 to 1 000 elders and Islamic scholars from each of Afghanistan's 32 provinces are expected to attend the meeting, which is due to take place on Tuesday.

The meeting would be broader in scope than the traditional Afghan Loya Jirga, or meeting of elders, as it would also include the ulema.

Culture and Information Minister Qudratullah Jamal said jihad would be automatic if the US attacked in retaliation for last week's devastating terrorist atrocities in New York and Washington.

The Taliban is harbouring the prime suspect bin Laden, who has been living under the militia's wing since it took control of Kabul in 1996.

"It is very clear - if they attack the only alternative for us will be jihad," Jamal said. "The Islamic Emirate was founded on the fatwa of ulemas and now again ulemas will gather to make a decision."

The last Afghan jihad, against the Soviet invasion in 1979, led to the Red Army's humiliating withdrawal 10 years later and precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union.

At the time, Washington actively encouraged the Afghan mujahideen (Islamic holy warriors) to wage jihad for independence, pouring billions of dollars into the conflict through its Cold War ally in neighbouring Pakistan.

Earlier on Sunday, Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakel said the there would be no change to the militia's policy of protecting bin Laden, even as Pakistan dispatched a delegation to demand his extradition.

Neighbours who assist US will be considered enemies

"There is no change in our policy on Osama bin Laden, we still stick to our previous stand," he told the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

"We will use all available means and resources for the defence of our country. It is our responsibility to provide security to all the people living in our country," he said, referring to bin Laden.

He also renewed the Taliban's warning that neighbours such as Pakistan who assist the US with a military attack would be considered enemies.

"If any country helps America on this issue or offers its ground or air space to help the US force, we can launch an attack under compulsion," he said.

Pakistan is the Taliban's main ally and one of only three countries which recognises the radical Islamic theocracy in Kabul.

But Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has promised his full support to Washington's war on terrorism, possibly including the use of airspace to launch strikes in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden on Sunday denied any involvement in Tuesday's terrorist attacks, when hijacked passenger jets were used as flying bombs to level the World Trade Centre and part of the Pentagon.

"The US is pointing the finger at me but I categorically state that I have not done this," bin Laden said in his first statement since the attack. - AFP

-- a programmer (a@programmer.com), September 17, 2001.

I agree that we need a new category. Looking for suggestions.

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 17, 2001.

Wars and Rumors of War

-- Phil Maley (maley@cnw.com), September 17, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ